This is the first book in a new series, Vintage Cookbook Mysteries by popular cozy mystery author, Ellen Byron. Score! While getting the link for the series page, I ran into the second book for this series due out next year, Wined and Dined in New Orleans. With a little luck, I can get that ARC when it’s out too! It sure sounds like it’ll be another good one!
Speaking of good books, this is one series you have to start if you’re a fan of the Cajun Country series and missing it like I was. Even if you never read that series, you’re still gonna love this one! I know I can rely on this author to provide the sights and smells of NOLA and surrounding areas right from the comfort of my reading chair. I wouldn’t mind visiting NOLA someday, but I’ve never been one much for crowds so that’s why cozies are great armchair vacations for me, lol.
My Goodreads review:
Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Oh my goodness, this series is just what I was hoping for that helps fill the void left when the author ended her Cajun Country series! I absolutely loved all these regular characters and the whole Louisiana/Cajun food vibe that I used to love in the other series. I gotta admit, it was a little harder warming up to Ricki than it had been Maggie, but she finally worked her way into my heart along with the others.
I just love Madame’s character, and I really liked Eugenia the minute I met her. I could tell she was going to be one of the “proper” locals from a good family but still fair enough to her employees that they were all on a first name basis with her–and the lady knew a good idea when it was presented to her. That Cookie was a great comic relief character, and I loved Zellah as a new bestie for Ricki. The ladies made for a fun work trio, and Lydia wasn’t so bad either, just a little bit harried from being mom to a crazy teen.
The overall camaraderie of the Bon Vee crew was pretty awesome, and I thought it was so cool how they all gathered at their favorite place, Bayou Backyard for just hanging out or going over the case. Maybe I enjoyed it even more because of the comparisons I could make between the two series since I thought about the BB as being a lot like JJ’s place only with an outside part to it.
I sure never saw the whodunit coming but in the explanation at the end, it made a lot of sense. The dinner Eugenia treated them all to was a lot of fun and really cemented these characters for me. The next day was even better, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what fun happened then. I liked that the epilogue added a bit of intrigue to hopefully the next book. I gotta admit I’d toyed with the idea put out there a few times while reading! If you loved Cajun Country Mysteries, you won’t wanna miss this series! I absolutely can’t wait for the next one!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Berkley Publishing via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. This book releases June 7, 2022.